"Maggie Rayner has produced an engaging and immediate memoir of growing up Mormon in late-20th century British Columbia. Her recounting of struggle and, eventually, escape from a suffocating upbringing is a snapshot of a religious community riven by its tumultuous history, still haunted by the shadow - and occasionally the reality - of polygamy. It is also a compelling story of a strong and spirited girl caught in a world in which she could not live, and her dawning realization that she must leave." — Craig E. Jones, Q.C., BGS, LL.B., LL.M. Professor of Law Thompson Rivers University Author, A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy
"This book is smoothly written and totally engrossing . . .in reviewing it I thought it wise to have a former LDS church member also read it . . .The author's account of church secrets appears to be truthful." --Jan DeGrass, Arts & Entertainment Writer, Coast Reporter
“In Polygamy's Shadow, Maggie Rayner combines the familiar with the unfamiliar to intimately involve us in her very personal struggle. We recognize in Maggie the child in all of us who seeks to question and to understand the unfathomable. The pain of alienation combines with a deep commitment to the power of love in this riveting memoir.” —Carol Cram, Author, A Woman of Note and The Towers of Tuscany.
“Maggie Rayner’s memoir, In Polygamy’s Shadow, is a true, heart-felt account of life in a mainstream Mormon family. It gives us a rare glimpse into her day to day: Maggie as a young child, as a teen-ager and as the adult reflecting back. We get to see the family dynamics of a household completely enslaved by a belief system spawned by cult leader Joseph Smith, who died over one hundred and fifty years ago, a man who by many accounts was little more than a pedophile. The author tells us the book was written as a warning to anyone considering an affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS. For anyone who reads this book, that warning will enlighten them, but the book is so much more. This is a bitter-sweet memoir, written with the kind of honesty that’s scarce. It’s an account of one woman’s struggle to find her place in the world and overcome a lifetime of mind control and religious oppression. She shows us the hardship of doing without while her parents paid tithing and donations to the church. She captures the awe of the natural world as seen through the eyes of an intelligent child. We watch as she’s forced to suppress her spirit to appease an abusive father and the expectations of her mother and the church. Then we see Maggie as a young woman, standing up at last, questioning the blind faith of her parents, family and community. This is a sincere account of how Maggie finally broke free and built a life of sanity and stability.” — Laurel Hislop, author, Culling God’s Herd, a fictional account of a young man cast out of the polygamous community of Bountiful, BC in her book Chitchat.
About the Author
MAGGIE RAYNER lives in Vancouver on the West Coast of British Columbia. Sailing, creating beautiful interiors, biking and hiking endure as passions. She has worked as an artisan and designer, and in marketing and law. Belief systems and the choices people make - or don't make - are of special interest to her. Reader response to her 2011 article in the Vancouver Sun, “Polygamy and Me: Growing up Mormon,” was the motivation for writing her memoir and first book, In Polygamy's Shadow.